Playing Dress Up

Every one has their down days, weeks, months, or even years. Every so often life seems to pin wheel out of control sending us on a dead end road in the middle of no where.

You know the times I’m talking about?

When even as you’re standing in a room completely full of people, you look around and think “I am so alone right now”. And every little thing makes you want to burst into tears for no logical reason.

I’ve been feeling that frequently over the passed couple weeks. No matter what happened or what I tried doing, I just couldn’t snap myself out of it.

This last Saturday, I stepped my game up. I threw on some comfy, warm (because it’s fall and everything after dark is like stepping into a freezer) clothes and took myself out to a concert one of my favorite bands was playing.

The first half hour or so was spent with that alone feeling. I was texting one of my best friends and my boyfriend, but still it sat in the pit of my stomach kicking my anxiety levels into gear and making me question why I even bothered going.

Then a band I like, that I didn’t realize was playing that night, came out, and that empty feeling fell away.

Music has this crazy, beautiful way of uniting a room full of strangers. I know I’ve said it before, but you can’t sit around and wait for someone to feed your happy. Recovering from an episode sometimes takes doing it yourself.

After the band played that I was there to watch, I left because I had to be up early. When I got back to my car I was overwhelmed by this feeling of… Me. I felt like me for the first time in a long while. I hadn’t realized I had missed that full part of me for as long as I have been.

I was unconditionally happy. Every worry I had been holding in had left. The fights I had that were weighing me down felt lighter.

The next couple days seemed to be easier to get through. I decided to get dressed up when my boyfriend wanted to go to dinner: dress, heels, full face of make up. That hadn’t been on my list of priorities in like.. months.

Taking that first step, putting on real clothes, getting out of my comfort zone for an evening, helped kick start a process that nothing else was turning over.

When we were younger, we’d play make believe. Pretend we were something we weren’t. Live out a fantasy as something magical, or what we wanted to be when we grew up. Somewhere along the line, that stopped. Why? We’re older. We know things we didn’t know back then.

Sure, our definition of make believe has changed.

That doesn’t have to stop us from dressing up and doing the thing that’s out of character for us.

Go do the thing.

People and Change

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of stories about people “changing”; I wanted to use this as an opportunity to share my views as to why I think that’s all bullshit. Now I know you’re thinking “Oh boy, a negative rant is coming” but you’re wrong. I believe there are different levels to the human psyche and what people call “change” is really just an evolution of something that is already there. Or on the reverse side of the spectrum, it’s a ruse.

We are all the product of the nurturing that was given to us as children. There’s so many stories out there about successful people coming from broken homes and abusive parents. When you dive in and look at these stories, there’s always a positive in there like an idol or a hobby. Young boy may have taken up basketball and because that made him feel good, he honed his skills and received a scholarship or whatnot, or a young girl could have had a nice neighbor who she grew up to do something similar as to become a productive member of society.

There’s also those that took to the substance lifestyle, and because that made them feel good and welcome, they became addicts. When those addicts “turn their life around”, they’re only holding the bad behind a curtain that could come crashing down at any moment.

A child that grew up in, let’s say, a cannibal colony grows up thinking that cannibalism is an acceptable thing. Colony gets raided, child moves out into the real world where he learns his definition of right and wrong isn’t the societal definition of right and wrong. He’ll grow up knowing it isn’t okay to chow down on his best friend, but if that wall shifts that he had built over that part of his life, guess what? His little friend could become dinner.

Someone in prison, who grew up surrounded by bad can move his focus to the positive in life and get his shit on track. That negative thing still lingers in the hallway of his brain, though. He looses that positive focus and ends right back where he started.

I have a friend who when younger had friends that influenced him negatively, and as he got older, made more positive friendships and was able to switch everything that was negative in his life over to something more positive. That “change” wasn’t an actual change. I knew his “before self” and could tell all of the drive was there waiting to be unlocked.

Take me for example, in high school I thought I had to find “The One” at an early age. My whole focus was on men and trying to make myself be whatever they needed. I was fortunate to find a mentor at work, which led me to turn my focus to just finding the love for me and making myself be the best version of me that I needed.

There’s also the fact that I have never believed in marriage. Every marriage that I had to look to when I was growing up was either broken or didn’t last. Meeting my boyfriend, that focus changed. The positivity he brings to me and the support he has given me so far had adjusted that view point to where I could see things going that way. However, there are days I still don’t want to go through with it,but at the end of the day when the negative has cleared, I still see that.

The term change in and of itself is terrifying for people. Usually, when that is the case, it’s because they literally don’t have it in them to change. There isn’t that other door there to be opened. A positive force can push and push and push, but doorways don’t just magically appear in areas where there is no give. And even when they do, it’s like an unstable cave waiting for collapse.

A friend once told me “You can’t fix stupid”. I think that perfectly applies to trying to “change” when you just can’t.

If someone internally has that other side to them, with a positive or negative turn of the focus, people grow into their true selves. No changing involved.

Focus is the key.

When to Let Go

There’s a moment in the quiet when you wonder if it’s worth it.

Is all of the happiness worth the small moments of sad?

Is it worth it to constantly question your worth when you already know where you stand?

When you care about someone or something so fully where all you want to do is fight through all of the bullshit. You wade through all of the shit hoping your thoughts and feelings will be seen and heard just as much as you take in the opposite thoughts and feelings.

But when do you stop fighting?

A person can only put up with so much of something before they’re ready to just walk away. No matter how much it’ll hurt to leave, staying might hurt even worse.

I preach the whole “Find yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re less” topic. But I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t always live by that. And I hate it. I hate it more than anything in the universe.

I spent years dealing with shitty relationships and shitty people.

I spent years building myself up from rock bottom.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made my voice known, and at the end of it, it feels like all of that was for nothing.

You put so much of yourself into something that even when you’re 86% happy, the thought of leaving that situation seems so impossible.

The good always outweighs the bad. But at what point is the bad just too much to handle?

Is it growing up when you allow yourself the moments of miserable? Or is it knowing the miserable moments and being able to say “Yeah, okay, I think I’m over this”?

New Adventures

People tend to get set in their own ways. We develop these routines, or even just have our own specific interests that we vehemently hold onto and only do those things.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s been shown that as we age, our interests change. If we aren’t out there expanding our horizons and learning new things, there isn’t room for growth. Sticking to a set of specifics gets tiring. I believe this is a cause for depression.

Over the last few months, I’ve tried so many new food places and listened to such a wide variety of music than what I usually do. I feel so much better than I have before. Seeing the world through new eyes has gotten me to come out of a rut that I didn’t know I had fallen into.

I still struggle some days, but it seems to be a smaller window of down than it has been before.

Putting yourself in a new, unfamiliar environment can be terrifying. Believe me, I have passed on quite a few opportunities just for that fact.

Risk can be rewarding, though.

You might fall in love with a new culture, or scene, or even just a person.

If you’re constantly doing or listening to the same things over and over, make a change.

A boring life isn’t fulfilling.

Hit up a new restaurant.

Check out a different type of concert.

Spread your wings and fly, Sweetheart.

When You’re Down

My biggest hope in this life to is to breach someone’s silent scream for help. There doesn’t need to be a full audience. Just one person to walk away saying “I needed to hear that”.

I am unashamed to say I am not happy where I’m at in life, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. And I’m constantly working to better myself and my surroundings to be even happier.

There’s always dark within the light, though.

Depression is a dark cloud that likes to rain down even on the sunniest of days.

And it’s okay to be sad.

It’s okay to feel down when you know you should be shining bright.

The inexplicable onset of sadness is okay. It doesn’t shape who you are in your moments of happy.

War wages within each and everyone of us constantly. Joy and melancholy constantly fight for the upper hand.

Sometimes Joy wins.

Sometimes Melancholy wins.

Struggling means you’re alive.

Sometimes you can’t pinpoint why you feel either.

Today was one of my good days. I felt content with myself and the world around me.

Tomorrow might be different.

And that is okay.

Let the dark cloud hang if it needs to.

There’s always sunshine waiting to ring in a new day.

Scar Tissue

Open wounds hurt. They sting. They bleed. After a given time, they just stop though. Sometimes we bandage them up to help them heal faster, other times we let them breathe and hang out for the world to see what happened.

This can also be said for our emotional wounds. Whether it be a broken heart, the loss of a loved one, or even a rough time we’re going through, everyone handles their pain differently.

We drown ourselves in alcohol, therapy sessions, sad retail shopping, or the love of everyone around us; those are our bandages. And that is okay. Not everything can heal on its own.

Other times, we hold it in and suffer in silence. Which can be okay, too. Sometimes toxic, though.

Pain is only a temporary state of existence. Yes, time can heal all wounds, but time needs to have help and the patience for it to do it’s job.

The greatest part about flesh wound is, after they’ve stopped bleeding, stopped hurting, had their time to heal, they leave behind scars to remind us of a period in time. They remind us of where we’ve been.

Remember that time you were walking your friends dog and he got too excited and knocked you over?

Remember that time you were working, not fully paying attention, and knocked a pile of boxes on top of you?

Remember when you got in the middle of a dog fight?

Remember when you were playing your favorite sport, tore a ligament and had to have surgery?

When you were longboarding and ate shit on a hill?

Or the time you went camping and caught a burning marshmallow on your arm?

These are all points in your life leading up to your now. They’ve all helped to mold you into who you are in some way or another.

Some of these memories may still burn when you see the scar that came from it, but the best part about them?

Scar tissue fades, too.

Motivation Resolution 

It’s that time of year again when everyone is pumped to start their year off right. We all hit the ground running telling ourselves that it’s going to be our year; this is the one that is going to change our lives.

After X amount of time, however, we hit a snag and let that completely derail the rest of our year and by the end of the line, we’re over it and wanting the next year to start so we can give it another try.

Every day is a new day. Every moment counts. The highs are beautiful, the lows are dreary.

Through every storm comes a rainbow.

Don’t let a setback define your life; hurdle through it. We make our moments count, positive or negative. Every negative can lead to a positive. 

Be the positivity you seek in your daily life. 

This may be the beginning of 2018, but every day can be the beginning of whatever adventure you wish to seek. 

Carpe diem. 

Happy New Year, everyone. 

A Story About Myself

Sometimes, I forget.

I forget the beauty in the moment of people caring for other people.

I forget people need the comfort of other people.

I’ve mainly done things by myself, even when I’ve been surrounded by people.

Loneliness has not always been an option for me; sometimes it was forced on me.

But I chose to make the most out of it.

There’s beauty to be found in the silence.

I keep a small, tight, loving, circle of friends.

For a long time, though, I didn’t feel rooted to home.

A home without roots isn’t a home.

When the opportunity to fly was handed to me, I took it and ran.

I ran 5 hours away from home.

I cried the morning I left for the first 3 hour drive.

I made a home in those 5 hours away, though.

There were people that took me in as their own; whose love knew no bounds.

They filled me with love and kindness.

But no matter how wanted I felt, the roots didn’t sprout there.

So I moved 3 hours away.

I knew going into this move that it would be hard, that it wouldn’t last.

There was a feeling going into it, but I tried to avoid it.

I met so many more wonderful people there.

People with history.

People that made me feel something magical.

Finding magic in a strange place is glorious.

When things got suffocating, I made a choice.

I decided to move 8 hours back home.

This was the 2nd time I had cried.

I felt my adventure was over.

I thought I had given up on all my dreams.

I set out to find new ones.

Then I met a boy.

He made me feel things, too.

And then things got toxic.

I lost him.

It helped me see I had fully lost the me I had built in the previous 4 years.

I reconnected with an old friend.

His energy and drive helped me get my spark back.

I found my roots in my self.

I am my own home.

Everyday’s an adventure.

People need other people.

But people need themselves, too.

If life had never happened to me, I never would be here to tell stories.

Even if the adventure went full circle.

It doesn’t matter where you start or where you end.

As long as you have some sort of support system, and if that support system includes yourself, you’re exactly where you need to be.

For Those Struggling Through The Holidays

We’re in the short stretch to the Holidays, and to everyone currently struggling, whether it be financially or emotionally, know that you aren’t alone.

These are hard times: the dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. You want to be able to get your mother everything she desires. You want to be able to get your kid that way overpriced toy they’ve had their eye on. Don’t stress.

Your mom will be happy you showed up to that Christmas party, no matter how hungover you are.

Your child will get over that inevitable tantrum they are going to throw, and eventually, will forgive you.

This is a time of love and family, not monetary value.

Spending the holidays alone?

Go buy yourself a new fancy outfit.

Get dressed up.

Pour yourself a drink.

Pop in a sappy Christmas movie.

Cry your eyes out.

By the time the movie is over, you’ll find your strength. Smile. These moments are fleeting. You are strong and you will get through this.

You may be by yourself this year, but next you could be surrounded by people and wish you weren’t. You’ll regret not taking this time for yourself.

You might feel like you’re drowning right now, but the surface is near. You will get your head above water soon.

The future is bright, specially with you in it.

When There’s No Where To Turn

There have been frequent reports recently about the heroes we grew up admiring taking their own lives due to mental illness. Close friends and relatives feel lost in their own personal battles and give in to the darkness. People constantly preach about “the warning signs” and claim there’s a way to know when someone is at risk.

The reality of the situation is that unless someone reaches out for help, there’s no way of knowing if someone is struggling.

An individual knows, but there’s a stigma that if you’re feeling down that you’re broken, that speaking out on your emotions means you’re weak, but also wrong.

Leaning on people can be a comfort to most. Having that friend you can call at 1 o’clock in the morning when your mind can’t shut down long enough for you to fall asleep is beautiful.

What happens when that person isn’t there? What happens when your support system fails and you have no fall back option?

It’s in these dark moments we have to remember to see the light. Not some metaphorical light. Not the typical “be positive not negative” mantra. The light is you.

Find yourself in your weak moments.

When things seem difficult, take them a step at a time. Whatever that means to you, do it. We find our strength in the little moments. Overwhelming ourselves is dangerous, underwhelming ourselves is much more damaging.

The most important person in your life should be yourself. That is one of the most underrated thoughts in anyone’s head. We always have someone in our lives that we look up to and think “this person is more valuable than I am”, whether it be a parent, a grand parent, offspring, sibling, or close friend. In order to love these people fully, however, we need to make sure we show ourselves love.

We can’t fight other’s battles, only help. We are our own army. You are your own team captain.

Every one is fighting a battle, no matter how strong they appear to be. It’s how we handle those battles that turn us into warriors.

Take care of yourself.

Keep fighting.

You are worth the fight.